How long can you hold a plank for? A minute? Maybe five? Planks are one of the best exercises you can do for your core, but there’s no doubt that they’re freaking hard, because you’re essentially holding your full body weight up. If you can hit the five-minute mark while maintaining perfect form, you’re definitely a champ.
But then there’s George Hood, who makes your five-minute plank look like child’s play. Hood has just destroyed the world record for planking, and you won’t believe his time—the 57-year-old held a perfect plank for a mind-blowing five hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds, shattering the previous record of almost four-and-a-half hours. Hood, a retired U.S. Marine and fitness trainer, took on the challenge to help raise money for a charity that helps injured U.S. servicemen.
If you’re interested in trying to attempt Hood’s planking feat, he trained for nine months straight, doing planks for up to 30 hours each week while holding 20 pounds of weight on his back. What’s even more impressive is that this isn’t even his first fitness record. He’s also broken records in the past for marathon rope skipping (13 hours and 12 minutes) and three times for stationary cycling (his longest ride was 222 hours and 22 minutes).
All of his incredible accomplishments all go to show that age is no limit to being fit. So the next time you’re feeling too tired and lazy to hit the gym, think of 57-year-old George Hood.
How to Do a Plank Properly
• Start in pushup position (only your toes and hands on the floor with the rest of your body raised)
• Bend your arms so that your forearms are resting on the floor
• Your elbows, bent at 90 degrees, should be right under your shoulders. The rest of your body (back, thighs, and legs) should be parallel to the floor. Don’t stick your bum up—your whole body should stay in a straight line.
• Contract your abs, keep breathing, and hold in place till it burns (aim for at least a minute to start and then work on increasing the duration each time)
“George Hood (athlete),” Wikipedia web site; http://goo.gl/Cz6fWe, last accessed June 3, 2015.
Moye, D., “George Hood Sets World Record By Planking More Than 5 Hours,” Huffington Post web site, June 1, 2015; http://goo.gl/D77Pql.